Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Rishi Sunak announces new support to keep British Jewish communities safe [October 2023]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 12 October 2023.

Members of the UK Jewish community, including school children, will be given more protection against antisemitic attacks in the wake of Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel, the Prime Minister has announced.

  • £3 million of extra funding will be provided to the Community Security Trust to protect schools, synagogues and other Jewish community buildings.
  • The Community Security Trust has recorded a 400% increase in the prevalence of antisemitic incidents in the UK since Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel.
  • This morning the PM convened representatives from UK policing and the Jewish community with ministers in Downing Street for discussions on policing protests.
  • Specific guidance to be provided to police on the beat on where and when to intervene.

Members of the UK Jewish community, including school children, will be given more protection against antisemitic attacks in the wake of Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel, the Prime Minister has announced.

£3 million of additional funding will be provided to the Community Security Trust (CST), an organisation established to protect British Jews from antisemitism and related threats. The CST works closely with the police to secure Jewish community buildings and events. Today’s announcement brings the total funding for Jewish Community Protection Security grant to £18 million for 2023-24.

The money will enable the CST to place additional guards in schools it supports throughout each school’s operating hours. They will also be able to place additional security staff at outside synagogues on Friday nights and Saturday mornings.

Today the Prime Minister gathered senior ministers, police chiefs and the CST in Downing Street for a discussion on protecting British communities and policing protests chaired by the Home Secretary Suella Braverman. The roundtable comes ahead of expected protests and marches taking place across the UK this weekend. It also follows a significant increase in antisemitic incidents since the terrorist attacks against Israel.

The CST has recorded 139 antisemitic incidents in the last four days. This represents an increase of 400% compared to the same period in 2022.

The Prime Minister said:

This is now the third deadliest terror attack in the world since 1970. The United Kingdom must and will continue to stand in solidarity with Israel.

At moments like this, when the Jewish people are under attack in their homeland, Jewish people everywhere can feel less safe.

That is why we must do everything in our power to protect Jewish people everywhere in our country. If anything is standing in the way of keeping the Jewish community safe, we will fix it. You have our complete backing.

Representatives at the roundtable, who included the Home Secretary, Communities Secretary, Attorney General and Policing Minister, discussed the threat increased antisemitic attacks and the policing response to provocative protests. Reflecting on the distressing scenes we have seen both online and on Britain’s streets in the past week, the Prime Minister asked police chiefs to ensure a consistent and clear approach is taken to tackling hate crime, policing protests and protecting Jewish communities. He stressed that the police have the Government’s total backing in ensuring that any glorification of terrorism is met with the full force of the law.

Following the discussions, the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council will brief all commanders clarifying guidance they should be using as they police protests over the weekend, as well as clarifying guidance around the use of face coverings to purposefully conceal identity.

During the meeting, the Home Secretary asked police chiefs to consider using their existing Section 14 powers in in the Public Order Act where appropriate to prevent assemblies blocking roads, including outside Jewish monuments and buildings such as the Israeli Embassy.

Earlier this week the Home Secretary wrote to police chiefs in England and Wales to urge them to step up patrols and use all available powers to prevent disorder and distress to our communities. She was clear officers should act immediately to crackdown on criminality – both in our streets and online.

The Home Secretary said:

Hamas terrorists have carried out barbaric attacks on the people of Israel. They massacred civilians, raped women and kidnapped the most vulnerable.

This terrorism is an attack on all of our values. Whenever Israel is attacked, people use legitimate Israeli defensive measures as an excuse to stir up hatred against British Jews. The UK stands unequivocally with Israel.

I have been clear with police chiefs in England and Wales that there can be zero tolerance for antisemitism, and that they should act immediately to crackdown on any criminality – both in our streets and online.

I have been in close contact with the Community Security Trust whose work helps enhance the security of the British Jewish community. To further support their work, we will be providing them £3 million in funding for additional security guards at Jewish schools, synagogues and in Jewish communities. This is in addition to the £15 million of annual funding provided by the Government.

Mark Gardner, Chief Executive of Community Security Trust said:

We are grateful to the Government for providing extra funding for security guards at Jewish community buildings, following the horrific Hamas terror attack on Israel. The support that we and the Jewish community are receiving from across government and policing is greatly reassuring and welcome at this difficult and worrying time.

We will work with the Home Office to ensure that this extra funding is used in the most effective way to enhance the existing security that is in place and provide the Jewish community with the protection that they need and deserve.